Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ming Versus Sir Humphrey

What is it with the press that they have the obsession with a fictional senior Civil Servant?

I was watching with trepidation as the Tax Debate unfolded in Brighton. There were people I would position myself alongside speaking against and for amendment 3 (the retention of the 50p upper tax rate). It was a typical civilised debate by a party that allows its members freedom of expression in policy decision making. You would have thought the media would have got the hang of that with us by now. But no they were still obsessing that accempting any ammendment would be a slur on the leadership. How can following a democratic agenda be a slur on the leader of party with the name Democrats taking up half the party name?

If I had been there and been called to speak I would have echoed one of the speakers who was an accounted by starting:

There is an old addage that where more than one economist in a room you will have their number plus one ideas in the room. Well today that is not true with this economist Vince.

While as someone did state if our Green Tax Switch Proposals do have the desired result they will reduce the revenue raised as a result of the change in lifestyle they encourage. That is a bridge that a trust a Liberal Democrat Chancellor of the Exchequer will be more than capable of meeting when he is present at No. 11 having implemented these proposals.

But in this mornings papers and immediately after the policy was passed without amendment I was flicking through both Sky News and BBC News 24, conveniently placed on freeview and they both saying that Sir Humphrey Appleby would be ridiculing these as radical. No doubt he would but he does not exist?

I'm sure that previous premanent secretaries have said to Liberal Minsters you can't abolish slavery, you can't introduce an old age pension etc to many of our radical proposals. I'm gald that the historically radical party is still thinking outside the box. For the good of the poor people that Labour have failed to help. For the good of the planet which both Labour and Tories are currently only failing with their stance of rhetoric alone.

As for the Civil Servants as a former one myself I know that many of them actually enjoy a challenge. Admittedly my personal experience was at the initial period of devolved government in Northern Ireland but my colleagues thrived on being the chance to try new things then. While the civil servants may point out what is not achieveable they also will give their all to succeed.

Sir Humphrey doesn't stand a chance against a fair, simple, green tax system that is bound to engage the populace at large.

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